When Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg went down last year and underwent Tommy John Surgery, most expected he’d be out for at least a year, and maybe up to 18 months. Fast forward to this month and less than a year later (he had surgery on Sept 3, 2010) the No. 1 pick from the 2009 MLB Draft is lighting up radar guns once again.
Strasburg threw a simulated game on Monday in Florida and hit 95 mph on his fastball. Clearly the strength is returning to his right arm much faster than expected. As of right now, Strasburg has progressed to throwing in game-like situations, after previously throwing a 30-pitch bullpen session at full-effort.
His recovery has progressed to the point where Strasburg and the Nationals are looking at possible rehab assignment dates. If everything continues as is, he could be back in the minors as soon as mid-August. That means he could return to the big leagues by September.
This has to be great news to Nationals fans, because, despite the team sitting at around .500 the Nats have given their followers something to cheer about this year. Adding Strasburg back to the mix will only keep the buzz going and help build momentum for next season.
Additionally the Nationals’ brass has to be breathing a sigh of relief concerning their $15.1 million investment and the ace of their rotation.